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Learned from the best in product and UX

On June 27 & 28, 2024, we learned from top industry leaders and networked with our peers in product and design.

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TAKE A LOOK BACK

Here’s what happened in 2024.

The ITX Product + Design Conference returned in 2024 with new speakers, new activities, and more. Industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs, UX designers, and product professionals came together to celebrate the power of UX design and product development. Over two days, attendees engaged in interactive workshops, listened to inspiring keynotes, and networked with peers, all while learning how to build innovative solutions to solve complex business challenges. The event included a sampling of some of the best Rochester has to offer, including a tour around the Memorial Art Gallery and a visit to the annual Rochester Jazz Fest. 

MEET THE 2024 SPEAKERS

John Maeda's Headshot

John Maeda

Currently serving as Head of Computational Design on AI Platform at Microsoft, John Maedais a product experience leaderacross consumer and enterprise domains. 

He is the first recipient of White House’s National Design Award for algorithmically-generated visualizations informed by data + AI, a LinkedIn Top 10 US Influencer, and author of five books including How to Speak Machine and the tech bestseller Laws of Simplicity. 

Denise Tilles Headshot

Denise Tilles

With over a decade of product leadership experience, Denise Tilles supports companies like Bloomberg, Sam’s Club, and Athenahealth by strengthening capabilities around Product Operations, Product Strategy, and Product Operating Models. 

She co-authored the recently published must-read guide for technology leaders Product Operations. Denise has previously led product +UX teams at Cision, Conde Nast, and U.org, and is the CEO & Founder of Grocket. 

Ryan Rumsey Headshot

Ryan Rumsey

Ryan Rumsey is a writer, speaker, coach, and business owner. He is the CEO of Second Wave Dive, an on-demand strategic consultancy, and the founder of Chief Design Officer School, the premier learning platform for design leaders.  

Prior to entrepreneurship, Ryan built and led teams at Electronic Arts, Nestlé, and USAA. He is the author of two books, Business Thinking for Designers and Play Up Your Impact

Cliff Gilley Headshot

Cliff Gilley

Cliff Gilley is a lifelong product manager, currently working as an advisor to product teams with Gartner. With 20 years of product management experience across various markets and company sizes, his research and advisory work centers on large B2B technology solutions. 

An advocate of lean and agile principles, he works with clients to continuously improve their product management maturity and to push their product teams toward the future of the profession. 

John Haggerty headshot

John Haggerty

As a seasoned product leader, John Haggerty offers tailored insights derived from a proven track record of driving innovation and strategic growth. His expertise lies in integrating business constraints across multiple domains, deeply understanding user motivations, and guiding product strategy with data-driven insights. 

John is a course instructor, leading interactive sessions and creating assignments and discussions aimed at helping students apply practical skills in product management. 

Prerna Singh Headshot

Prerna Singh

Prerna Singh is a product professional and product leader with a demonstrated ability to bring teams to their goals. She is experienced in combining strategic insights and human-centered design principles to deliver high client and product value. 

Prerna has contributed her expertise to product teams at Meetup, Quartz, Mashable, and IBM. She also serves as a course instructor at Gigantic. 

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Patricia Reiners, a distinguished UX innovator and voice in the field of user experience, hosts the esteemed “FUTURE OF UX“ podcast. Her expertise lies at the crossroads of AI, Spatial Computing, and groundbreaking innovation in UX. Based in Zurich, she offers global clients expert guidance in advanced UX methodologies and emerging technologies, focusing on future design industry trends.

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PRESENTED IN CONJUNCTION WITH PRODUCT COLLECTIVE

Product Collective produces gold standard events for the product management and product leadership communities, and ITX is proud to have them back as a key partner for 2024. Product Collective’s business is all about ‘show business,’ as evidenced by their yearly INDUSTRY: The Product Conference gatherings. This flagship event, with its latest version coming this September 2024, is unprecedented in the product leadership and product management fields. 

Product Collective Co-Founder Mike Belsito returned as ITX Product + Design Conference emcee for the 4th consecutive year. His businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, and NPR. Mike is also the author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us, one of the top startup books on Amazon. 

 

WHAT WE LEARNED

Keynotes – Friday, June 28.

The first keynote of the 2024 Product + Design Conference was led by John Maeda. He shared insights and data about AI’s implications for humanity and gave strategies for staying ahead of AI capabilities through creative work. 

Denise Tilles explained the buzz around Product Operations, and how it could multiply organizational scaling. She provided insights on evaluating the effectiveness of product strategy and ensuring development resources aligned with company goals. 

Cliff Gilley explored factors that are leading to disengagement amongst product managers, after 2023 reports showed a staggering amount of product professionals leaving the product field. He suggested actionable strategies we can take to reignite joy in product management. 

The final keynote from Ryan Rumsey gave us practical techniques for making better decisions and products across cross-functional teams. He emphasized the importance of clear communication and mutual appreciation for expertise. 

 

Workshops – Thursday, June 27.

Workshop attendees enthusiastically embraced the hands-on experiences crafted by our workshop facilitators. With Prerna Singh, we explored four discovery methodologies through hands-on exercises, leaving with a concrete action plan for implementing effective customer research. 

In our workshop with John Haggerty, we learned about AI’s multidisciplinary impact across industries. We learned how to leverage AI for analyzing customer feedback, predicting churn, identifying product development risks, and conducting competitive analysis through interactive activities and case studies. 

On the design side, Ryan Rumsey helped us visualize, gather, and interpret metrics to drive product strategy, transforming our approach through a blend of design, statistics, and business techniques. 

In the second design workshop with Patricia Reiners, we learned how AI enhances design innovation, streamlines workflows, and personalizes user experiences, leaving with a clear understanding of its impact and actionable strategies for digital product design. 

PRODUCT MOMENTUM – THAT’S A WRAP!

On Keynote Day, the Product Momentum team invited conference attendees to The Podcast Zone, a space to join conversations with keynote speakers John Maeda, Denise Tilles, Ryan Rumsey, and Cliff Gilley.  

Following each presentation, attendees watched live recordings in the intimate Bausch & Lomb Parlor. We enjoyed the one-of-a-kind opportunity to shape the conversation with our amazing thought leaders. 

All conversations were recorded for future Product Momentum episodes – subscribe to our YouTube channel to know when we drop the first episode! 

Why was the 2024 Product + Design Conference Special?

1. Exclusive access to industry experts.

We brought the brightest minds shaping the product and design communities to Rochester. 2024 saw our biggest lineup of speakers, including John Maeda, Denise Tilles, Ryan Rumsey, Cliff Gilley, Patricia Reiners, John Haggery, and Prerna Singh. 

2. Connecting with fellow professionals.

The Product + Design Conference saw a record number of attendees over two days. We made new friends and reconnected with those we hadn’t seen in some time. It was the place to be for connecting and sparking new ideas. 

3. The best of both worlds.

The P + D Conference provided a safe space for us to learn and grow together. The keynote day helped build strong ties with peers while the area-focused workshops gave the opportunity to dig into skill development. 

4. Leveling up abilities.

Our attendees left the conference with sharp, new skills, easily transferable to everyday tasks. We learned best practices and ways of working that will empower us to move faster and drive positive outcomes. 

5. Rochester in summer.

The Farewell Drink & Networking hour was our way of closing the event, but it was only the beginning of experiencing everything Rochester had to offer. From exploring the grounds and galleries at the Memorial Art Gallery to taking a relaxing stroll through Highland Park, attendees experienced Rochester at its peak. There was no better way to cap off an event than by catching a show during the Rochester International JazzFest

CONFERENCE VENUE

Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery, or the “MAG” as it’s called locally, hosts a permanent collection of over 12,000 objects. The collection has been called “the best-balanced collection in the state outside of metropolitan New York City.” 

The museum hosted hundreds of design and product professionals over 2 days. It was the perfect Rochester locale for celebrating the power of product and design coming together! 

Stay tuned on upcoming ITX events!

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